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Community Member

Suggestion: Add PC version of games where available, not console.

The Suggestion
I'd like to see complete PC releases of games on Stadia if those titles have a PC counterpart, as opposed to their console counterpart.

 

Why?
I've been playing a lot of Destiny 2 and it seems that I'm actually playing a console version of the game. Why? Your custom servers for Stadia are PCs, right? I had no idea they were that 'custom'. I can tell this is the case because of the lack of in-game settings. There's next to nothing regarding graphics, there's nothing regarding field of view... In a shooter? They're not serious, surely? This is one of the things console developers routinely misunderstand. Yes, less can be more, but in this case, I'd like more. Moreover, regarding Destiny in particular, an healthy amount of console players want at least an FoV slider - so this isn't even simply a PC player thing. This is about developers (games and consoles) not really listening to or caring about what people want, and the gaming industry in total already has more than enough of that development attitude.

 

More Verbose Why
The issue I have (and many PC players will have) with this is that it feels like the game has been scaled back to be released comfortably, whereas PC games have much higher quality and customising ceilings. This is primarily why Stadia won't attract tens of millions of PC-dedicated players. It's just another console. It's far cheaper in one go, sure, but that doesn't change what it is. If you care about the experience of gamers (especially PC players) past a gimmick feature, then you're going to have to step a bit more further forward than Microsoft and Sony - more further forward than presenting a system of cloud gaming that isn't new or special.

I get that this might be something more to do with developers. I just don't see why Stadia lacks in-game features with some titles (like a console) if the system is supposed to be better overall than consoles. I mean, if I'm wrong about my preconceptions of Stadia, then I think you guys need to make it clearer that you're running a cloud console thing - not a PC thing. I'm not even talking about crossplay here, either.

I can't speak for other players on this bit in particular, but I don't think I'll be buying the rest of Destiny 2, for Stadia, at least. And I'll be checking other games for the same features before I settle with them. I've already checked a few and noped on out of there - ESO for example. That's a ridiculous mess as it is on PC but to take away the vast array of built-in settings it has as well as the add-ons just adds insult to injury for me. It's a straight down-grade from just using my installation of ESO.

See what I mean? If I know I'm going to get more out my games by just buying and installing them myself then I'm more inclined to use my PC. It might cost a lot in one go, but it's cheaper in the long run than it is using Stadia for however many years. And let's not go there with hard consoles - that's even cheaper.

I know the marketing theme you've got going here is that we can play almost wherever and whenever (unlike other consoles and PCs), but it comes with drawbacks that many will consider to be deal-breakers. I'm going to wait to play with my PC if it means I'll get more from it than I will from Stadia.

This is aside from any latency issues loads of people get that simply render your product unreliable and/or nonviable.

The reason that this is a suggestion for you rather than for the individual game developers is because if you're asking them, then we don't need to, and you get straight to the source. We're talking about minor features that I think most of your developers have already implemented in some iteration of their products. They don't have huge obstacles to overcome to add them, in any case.

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3 Replies
Stadia Guide
Stadia Guide

@GIRTHQUAKE With regards to in game setting (or lack of it), it's probably more appropriate to send the feedback to the developer/publisher of the game, since they're the one deciding what features are being featured for their game on Stadia (Bungie for Destiny 2). I feel your pain with regards to FOV for example, but the option is actually available on The Division 2, so it's definitely not a technical limitation issue.

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Community Member

@Ivan,

Thanks for your response.

I understand that it isn't a technical limitation. However, I did say that something like this is going to sound better coming from Google than it is coming from a player. There's a standard expectation in PC gaming that console gaming just doesn't meet, and FoV sliders is a part of that but not the whole. My point is that the expectation should be iterated by Google in its product design, not by individual players of specific games - otherwise, it's not going to take off, just like the few similar services that came before Stadia. This kind of thing could give Stadia an edge, because we already know for a fact that Microsoft and Sony (for example) don't give a toss about calibration. This is why there's a strong divide between PC and console players - it's not merely the collection of games each demographic has exclusive access to.

Moreover, there are already plenty of naysayers who frequently compare Stadia to its competition - a lot of them make sound points. I wouldn't like to see Stadia fail, because I think there's a genuine market to be led - but unless it's going to offer more than just cloud gaming over the leading consoles and their cloud gaming services, then I think it's probably going to be stuck as a gimmick with fewer options of games.

Developers want to see returns on their games. Stadia will unlikely meet those returns if it isn't offering something ahead of the competition, rather than just instead of it - because that's currently how it is. Although, one could make the argument that it's not an 'instead of' kind of deal, either, because it has no outstanding exclusive games yet and its store is comparatively insignificant.

And when we take a closer look at that 'gimmick', we actually see there's some important fine print: your stream can be up to 4k. The marketing for this is extremely sketchy, given the few games that do actually stream at up to 4k, so Stadia is already in a lot of people's bad books, as it were. This is another part of that standard of expectation that Google really should be hammering home to its developers on behalf of Google. In my mind, this comes down to what Stadia brings to the table more than what a particular game brings to the table. It's why so many PC players won't touch consoles with a ten-foot pole. We can forgo the games because PC has more than a brilliant selection already, so it leaves the primary product up for more scrutiny - the platform.

As far as I'm aware, Bungie haven't addressed the console players who want an FoV slider specifically in Destiny 2, anyway, so it's unlikely that my say about a fringe product will make a lot of difference.

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Stadia Guide
Stadia Guide

Just a couple comments in addition to what Ivan said. First, Stadia hardware is not a PC. It's built using similar commodity x86 and AMD GPU hardware, yes – but it's not a PC any more than Xbox and PS4 are PCs, even though they are also built using x86 and AMD GPU hardware. So, conceptually, it really is much more like a console than a PC.

Second, the Stadia platform runs Linux and only supports the Vulkan graphics API. Vulkan is really nice – similar in capability to DX12. But, supporting Vulkan isn't trivial for an existing game engine. I suspect a number of developers have relied on things like the dxvk library to port their DX11 game engines to Stadia. That adds overhead and limits the performance that can be achieved. Games that support Vulkan directly are showing much better performance and graphical quality. At the end of the day, game developers are in business to turn a profit. They need to evaluate how much effort it makes sense to put into a port compared to the forecasted return on that investment. The AC:O team had a goal of hitting 30 frames per second, and even though they had a list of potential optimizations they could have added, they stopped when they hit their target frame rate. That let them ship the game on time and at the right cost. Would I like to see 60FPS on that game? Sure. But, I'm also glad they were able to finish it when they planned to.

Lastly, I don't think Stadia needs to "convert" anyone necessarily. I have a gaming PC as well, and I play some games there, and some games on Stadia. It gives me more choices than I had before. In my case, it will make it less likely that I will end up buying a new generation of console. But, I'm sure there will be plenty of console gamers who still upgrade, but also use Stadia where it makes sense for them. Stadia is about expanding the market – not (just) stealing pieces of it from existing players.

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